Dancing Astronaut presents: A time capsule of electro house
Dancing Astronaut presents: A time capsule of electro house
As EDM began entering into its second wave of commercialism, electro house emerged as one of the dominant new subgenres that attracted people in droves to the dance sphere. Blending together electronica and house elements, songs falling under the label often featured enhanced kicks and gritty, bended saw synths. Electro house’s unmistakable punch as a popular sub-genre and overall catchiness led to it shaping big room as it is today.
Looking back through the genre’s storied history, we’ve selected a small sampling of ten tracks that not only played a role in its evolution, but were also some of the biggest hits of their day.
Words by Christina Hernandez.
Benny Benassi - Satisfaction
Before even being defined as its own genre, Benny Benassi unknowingly created one of the very first examples of electro house back in 2002. “Satisfaction,” hailed as one of the biggest dance tracks of all time, features an unforgettable hook constructed by buzzing synthesizers. Its infiltration into the mainstream music catalog led to it being one of the first exposures to electronic music for many, and continues to be recognized by virtually everyone fifteen years after its release. Moreover, its sonic signature set a foundation for more established electro house to come.
Fedde Le Grand - Put Your Hands Up For Detroit
The mid-2000s is when electro house began to flourish. Fedde Le Grand, who’s always kept a keen pulse on sounds that are about to explode, became one of those to embrace its rise by putting out one of the genre’s most fabled tracks to this day: “Put Your Hands Up For Detroit.” With its distinctive topline, grooving percussion, and eye-popping video, “Put Your Hands Up For Detroit” is as widely appreciated in 2017 as it was in 2006 when it was initially released.
deadmau5 - The Reward Is Cheese
Even deadmau5 dabbled in electro house during its come-up, adding his own experimental touch to the mix. One such example is his single, “The Reward Is Cheese.” Released in 2007, the piece trails along robotic, stuttering synth arrangements while simplistic, well-balanced kicks and spritzes of bass add further intrigue. It was certainly ahead of its time, and serves as a much-prized older work of the Canadian production legend.
The Bloody Beetroots ft. Steve Aoki - Warp 1.9
The Bloody Beetroots and Steve Aoki put out their unstopabble collaboration “Warp 1.9” in 2009, further cementing Aoki’s status as somewhat of an EDM superstar while putting The Bloody Beetroots’ name on the map. The track’s intense builds, cajoling vocal samples, and iconic hoover synths have allowed it to light up dance-floors years after its release. In fact, “Warp 1.9” was so popular that it ended up becoming a saga of namesake cuts all building off the same central theme.
Congorock - Bablyon
Electro house had truly entered into its peak in 2010. During this period of near-ubiquity, Italian producer Congorock composed the formidable “Babylon”at this time, a song that was virtually an inevitable inclusion in sets for those participating in the electronic scene back then. Congorock’s addictive, non-Western central hook vibrated through speakers around the world, and still inspires remixes in the modern day, including a psy-trance remix by the British legend Avalon just months ago.
Porter Robinson - Say My Name
A young Porter Robinson emerged into the electronic space around this time as well, helping pioneer what would informally be called “complextro.” In his seminal hit, “Say My Name,” Robinson blended together a multitude of sound and rhythms into a cohesive piece that destroyed dance floors and demonstrated his brilliance for creative, eccentric edits in electro. He’s only grown since then, signing onto OWSLA with his groundbreaking Say My Name EP in 2011 and continuing to forge his own path musically with his brilliant Worlds album and Shelter tour with his fellow complextro pioneer Madeon.
Wolfgang Gartner - Space Junk
Wolfgang Gartner also drove electro house forward during its peak. The then-burgeoning artist’s debut album Weekend in America met high acclaim upon its 2011 release, and contained one of his most infectious works, “Space Junk.” Whooping sound synthesis and retro-influenced touches of melody made it into an instant classic, whose claim to fame later became its use as the theme song in a Beyond Wonderland trailer. Gartner later went on to put out his equally-acclaimed “Illmerica,” and continues to experiment with electronic production today.
Dada Life - White Noise/Red Meat
Dada Life captured the masses’ attention with their signature “bananas and champagne” trademark and enthralling productions adhering to their Dadaist ideals such as their attention-grabbing “Kick Out The Epic Motherf*cker.” Their EP White Noise/Red Meat is hailed as another one of their finest outputs. Its namesake track bolstered a simple, yet grooving melody that, paired with sharp synths and impactful undertones, made for a veritable anthem of its time.
Knife Party - Internet Friends
2011 was quite a year for electro house. Those who listened to it at this time will easily remember Knife Party’s career-defining record, “Internet Friends.” Part of their debut EP, 100% No Modern Talking, the powerful tune helped propel Rob Swire and Gareth McGrillen’s side project from Pendulum into predominance throughout the dance music sphere, thanks to its tense, stressful builds and sinister, abrasive drops that melted crowds worldwide.
Nicky Romero - Toulouse
Finally, we conclude this list with Nicky Romero’s “Toulouse.” Like Porter Robinson and others, Romero was also a young talent to quickly climb to the top of the bubble. “Toulouse,” with its rowdy, kicking whomps of synthesizer and pounding drops, was a highly-demanded electro house record for quite some time after its release. The track’s intriguing music video earned millions of views on YouTube, helping to skyrocket Romero to the successful place he is today.